COVID Continues to Impact Businesses
In a recent survey conducted by the Pacific Trade Invest network, it has revealed that the pandemic continues to impact small businesses.
Newly appointed Trade Commissioner of the Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand office, Glynis Miller said that “the results are not surprising as they do reflect real challenges faced by a large majority of SMEs.”
According to the data, the conditions for SME's have improved a bit - from 89% in December to 84% reporting a negative impact. The confidence levels of these businesses have dropped a bit - with 75% reporting that they will survive the pandemic, compared to 78% during the same period last month.
This has been the lowest it has been since the firm has been tracking SMEs last April 2020.
According to the survey respondents, some of the technical assistance that they need are financial support, business diversification, and access to new markets.
The January report said that the top barrier for female-led businesses was a lack of cash flow with 41% reporting barriers as compared with the 15% in male-led businesses.
“When the accumulated data is reviewed month on end, we note the consistent pinch points faced by SMEs – the tough decisions are taken to reduce operational costs, reduce working hours and diversify their services or products,” he said. “That said, within the data collected, there is evidence of businesses having performed exceptionally well throughout COVID-19 where production and export levels have increased substantially compared to the same period last year.”
Aside from these challenges, the pandemic has brought many opportunities too.
Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand along with offices in China and Australia looks at the findings of the Pacific Business Monitor report to support programmes where sectors need specific assistance.